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Vote No on 2 refutes claims made by medical marijuana supporters

Vote No on 2 is refuting statements made by medical marijuana backers in recent weeks, including that medical-grade marijuana will not get a patient high.

“These lies are deplorable,” said Christina Johnson, the spokeswoman for the Vote No on 2 campaign. “Floridians deserve to know the truth, not an altered version of it.”

The campaign, which led a successful opposition campaign when medical marijuana was on the ballot in 2014, is taking issue with a column in South Florida Times, an African-American weekly newspaper. In the column, Kim McCray, the outreach director for the United for Care campaign, said “medical-grade marijuana alone will not get that patient ‘high.’”

“What is … important to know is although some debilitated patients may require higher levels of THC than others based on their specific medical condition, medical-grade marijuana alone will not get that patient ‘high,’ no matter what level of THC, CBD or any other compound is found in the plant,” she wrote.

Not true, said Johnson. She said THC gets a person high “no matter what you call it.” Johnson also said her comments contradict statements made by the United for Care campaign that said THC is the component that gets a person high.

The United for Care campaign sent out an email to supporters when the low-THC product authorized under law went on the market. Current law allows “low-THC” medical marijuana only, unless a patient is terminally ill.

“The vast preponderance of science, medicine and anecdote say that THC, the chemical that gets a person ‘high,’ is also the component that brings much of the plant’s medical benefits,” the email reads.

The claim that medical-grade marijuana won’t get a user high has already been debunked by PolitiFact, which rated it “mostly false.”

The Vote No on 2 campaign is also questioning statements made in a recent email to United for Care supporters. That email said most other health organizations, including the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians “support medical marijuana access and research.”

The email criticized the Florida Medical Association’s decision to oppose the amendment.

But Johnson said while those organizations support more research, they have opposed medical marijuana laws like Amendment 2.

“No one is opposed to more research. The ‘No on 2’ campaign, the AMA, the FMA, the AAP and others are just opposed to legalizing marijuana under the guise of medicine when there’s no conclusive evidence to prove that it works or that it’s safe,” she said in a statement. “The other side likes to talk about marijuana as some ancient miracle drug. They bring up how doctors used to prescribe marijuana back in the 1930s. But that’s not very scientific; especially when you consider the fact that doctors also once prescribed tobacco as medicine.”

Vote No on 2 led the effort to oppose the 2014 ballot initiative. The 2014 ballot received 58 percent support, just shy of the 60 percent needed to pass.

The 2016 amendment allows individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician to use medical marijuana. It also calls on the Department of Health to register and regulate centers to produce and distribute marijuana and issue identification cards to patients and caregivers.

The amendment defines a debilitative condition as cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among other things.

The amendment is on the November ballot.

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